Life – The squid from hell who can pilot rocket ships


Let’s take a look at this spin on the classic space alien genre.

Life starts as whimsically as a lakeside college beer party, and turns into Friday the 13th at Crystal Lake.

Plot

In a fictional present Nasa, and international space agency partners, intercept a sample from Mars at the International Space Station. They make an attempt to revive the organism which is one molecular cell. As I soak in the context, scratching my head I thought, that sounds like it may not be a great idea. What happens is a predictable, and sometimes gory cat and mouse game aboard the ISS, with a creature that resembles an ugly squid; named Calvin by schoolchildren from the U.S., paying homage to their elementary school.

Acting, Set Design, Cinematography and Music

Disappointingly Rory Adams (Ryan Reynolds) was the first one to be eaten by good ol’ Calvin the squid. I would have liked to see his character progress further in the film. Rory had that gritty edge that would have given the movie pockets of Independence Day humor. Instead with each inevitable death you got a feeling you were watching the Bills play the Patriots. There just wasn’t any hope.

Ekaterina Golovkina (Olga Dihovichnaya) was the commander on the mission. Her dialog was stiff and mechanistic, and her emotional delivery was forced. Ariyon Bakare and Hiroyuki Sanada deliver good, but predictable performances. In the end they are just another meat buffet for  ravenous Calvin’s clutches.

Anchoring the cast, and the remaining parts of the movie, are David Jordan (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Miranda North (Rebecca Ferguson). There on screen chemistry saved the movie, and while there was no romantic connection, the outpouring of genuine human affection, by two people facing their mortality, was a joy to watch by two seasoned actors.

The score was matched well with the film, and built the right amount of suspense where needed.

Final Thoughts

“Life” was fun, and although it does not break new ground in the genre; it was an entertaining picture with pockets of acting excellence. There is a solid foundation created by this movie for a blockbuster action sequel.

 

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